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Jun 012018
 
Salem Arts Festival

Performance art. Gallery art. Public art. It all awaits you this weekend, June 1-3 as the family-friendly Salem Arts Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary. And you are a most welcome guest!!!

“It’s hard to believe how far this festival has come in 10 years. So much conscious work and collaboration across organizations and disciplines has been done over the years to create a one-of-a-kind event, truly unique to Salem,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community non-profit that founded the Festival.

The Salem Arts Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 1st at 6 p.m.  The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work in the juried gallery while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers Betsy Miller Dance Projects, High Meadow Howlers, Samba Viva, and headliners Los Sugar Kings.

Over the weekend, this free celebration of arts, culture, creativity and community will feature over 200 artists and performers, and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include onsite art-making for all ages, local artist vendors selling their creations, a juried art exhibition and a community-built public art installation.

Arts Festival Locations

The Salem Arts Festival takes place in the heart of Salem at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. Primary locations include Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row.  A Juried Art Show, sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the festival, with an artist street fair in the area around the building on Saturday and Sunday

Live performances will take place (weather permitting) on Derby Square and Front Street.  The event is rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall and Front Street Coffeehouse.

This year, Creative Collective, a locally based creative organization that connects creativity, community and commerce joins SMS as Salem Arts Festival organizer, founder and Chief Creative Officer John Andrews says “Partnering with Salem Main Streets made so much sense to the collective, and as we watch the growth of the creative economy and learn more every day how important support of the arts and culture are to healthy, safe and vibrant communities we are honored to be partnering with and fostering the 10th anniversary of the festival.”

One of the most anticipated events this year is Bee to Brick, our fifth collaborative public art project, this year led by Salem artists Kate Babcock and Jen Platt. Bee to Brick will install playful swarms of several hundred “bees” around the festival area, created entirely out of recycled plastic bottles and other reusable plastic pollution.

Over the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages have created hundreds of bees in an effort to increase awareness of the critical role pollinators play in sustaining our ecosystem. After the project, the bees will be transformed to “bricks” that will be used be students from the Phoenix School for their “Bottle Brick Project.”

The Salem Arts Festival also celebrates the third annual “Mural Slam” on Artists’ Row this year, organized by the City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and Public Art Planner Deborah Greel. Murals will be painted throughout the weekend by 10 selected artists and will be completed by the end of the festival. The murals will remain to bring vibrancy to Downtown Salem throughout the year.

The goal of the Salem Arts Festival is to promote all the arts in Salem and to provide the entire North Shore arts community with an opportunity to showcase their talents. SAF is organized by Salem Main Streets, the Creative Collective, and a collaboration of Salem organizations, including the City of Salem, Salem State University, Salem Food Tours, the Phoenix School, Salem Public Space Project, the Salem YMCA, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Arts Association.

The Salem Arts Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Salem Cultural Council and an additional grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Support for the annual Fest Fundraiser was provided by Salem Five Bank and by the gracious support of its other creative partners, including Retonica Event Lighting, The Scarlet Letter Press, and Octocog Marketing and Design.

Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information and for the full festival schedule, please visit www.salemartsfestival.com.

A special thanks to over 30 businesses that supported the 10th anniversary of the festival through financial support and other means, the list of supporters can be found on the festival website.

Winner of Best Arts Festival in the 2017 Best of the North Shore (BONS) awards, the Salem Arts Festival strives to showcase and support as many artists, creatives and performers as possible on an annual basis and throughout the year.

We hope to see you join the celebration this weekend in Salem Ma!

 

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May 112017
 

Street Sense is a semiregular column with Salem Main Streets’ executive director Kylie Sullivan, highlighting common sense lessons learned while supporting the delightfully uncommon community of downtown Salem, MA.

Photo Credit – Creative Salem

Last week, I had the honor of participating in Innonorth’s panel on marketing locally. As I began to consider the topic – specifically marketing LOCALLY – I realized I actually had a lot to say, because Main Streets and local marketing are both all about people and connections. So here are a few of my personal takes on what it means to market locally in a community like Salem.

* YOU ARE YOUR BRAND
Downtown Salem is made up of small businesses – many of them microbusinesses (<5 full-time equivalent staff). For a lot of us, this is one of the things we really love about Salem – we love shopping local, we love knowing the person behind the product, and we love that they know us. There’s nothing more special than going into a business and being welcomed by name by the owner. This means that your business is really about you, no matter how good your product is. The great thing about your personal brand is that it’s the cheapest and most effective form of marketing you can invest in! It also makes it easy to represent your business when you’re simply doing the things you already enjoy – joining a running club, attending community events, supporting another business’ opening. The downside is that there’s a lot more on the line. Brands are about trust. It can take years to build a strong brand, and seconds to ruin one – and when you add your personal brand to your business brand, the number of ways you can accidentally mess up are immediately amplified. So be aware of this in your daily life, at the grocery store, at the bar, on social media (that’s right, even your personal social media can impact your business – perhaps unfair, but true). It can be exhausting, but it’s incredibly important to keep this in mind.

*Be present.
The best way to make use of your personal brand is to be present in the daily life of the community. This could mean physically, online, or financially, but if you’re keeping to yourself in an engaged community like Salem, odds are that the locals are going to overlook you. Sponsor local festivals, come to networking events, maintain a social media presence, participate in downtown promotional efforts. Like any marketing plan, it takes a while to figure out what works best for you – both what’s easiest for you personally and what gets you the most traction – but you won’t know until you try.

*Be a positive advocate for the community.
The emphasis is on positive advocacy. Small-scale economic and community development only really work if most of us are pulling in the same direction, but community advocacy is also an important marketing tool.  Customers respond to local businesses that look beyond their own walls to support local causes, advocate for positive change within their industry, or collaborate with other local businesses.  Additional insider tip: being an active and positive advocate also makes it more likely that local entities (like Salem Main Streets, let’s say) will think of you first when they’re looking for a downtown business to promote or highlight.

*Don’t forget to talk about what you do!
A lot of local business owners work so hard to make sure that the community knows them as people that they forget to say what their business actually does – and are then hurt or surprised when a community member doesn’t choose their business the next time they need something. Now, I’m not saying that you should be spouting off your elevator speech at every social occasion, or shoving business cards at people who haven’t asked for one – this can actually be extremely off-putting. But keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunities, and not being afraid to talk about what you do and what you’re proud of can go a long way when working in a small community.

*Be genuine and believe in your product.
Transparency is incredibly important to any consumer, but especially to those who choose to shop locally. And maybe it’s a result of living in a historic community with a strong tourist economy, but I feel that Salemites are particularly sensitive to insincerity. The good news is that this makes it even easier to be true to your personal brand – the less distance that exists between your professional self and your personal self, the less difficult it is to make sure that your brand remains consistent over time.

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May 092017
 

Express yourself artists of the North Shore! There is an open invitation from the 2017 Salem Arts Festival to local visual artists: “submit your work for the juried gallery at Old Town Hall” during the 9th annual festival that takes place this year, June 2-4.

Artists may submit up to 3 pieces; at least two of which must be for sale. Dates/times for drop off at Old Town Hall (32 Derby Sq.) will be May 26 from 5-8pm and May 27 from 9am-noon. Applicants will be informed of jury decisions by Sunday morning, and works not accepted must be picked up by Sunday evening or Monday afternoon.

Hung artwork may not exceed 36″ in any direction (including frame) and must be wired to hang – no sawtooth hangers. Larger artwork must have an easel or a stand. While installations are welcome, be mindful that Salem’s historic spaces come with some limitations.

You have time, but not a lot as the juried gallery will be selected by an on-site review process to be held the weekend before the festival, May 26-29.

This special exhibit is to be judged and juried for prizes by a panel comprised of individuals from the Salem arts community and beyond.

Over 5,000 people regularly attend the family-friendly Salem Arts Festival, transforming downtown Salem, MA into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase a wide range of talents: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theatre, poetry, and more!

The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and a collaboration of Salem organizations which provide support for the festival, including the City of Salem, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Arts Association, and Creative Salem. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Salem Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

For full details of requirements and regulations, please see the admission form at http://salemartsfestival.com/juried-gallery/.

For any other Salem Arts Festival-related information, please see www.salemartsfestival.com or contact Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org or (978)744-0004 (x115).

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Jan 032017
 

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.

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Aug 282016
 

Over 20,000 visitors served during the Haunted Happenings weekends and holidays in October! That’s the final head count for last year’s Information Booth Volunteers. What will it be this year? Join us and be a part of this rewarding community effort.

Salem Main Streets is looking for volunteers with enthusiasm for Salem to help greet visitors at the October Information Booth. Volunteers will staff the booth at the start of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall handing out maps and sharing information about Salem’s wide variety of attractions, events, and businesses.

All volunteers are asked to be available for a minimum of two shifts for two hours each and will be required to complete a one hour orientation session. The orientation will take place on Saturday, September 10 at 9:30am at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St, Salem. SIGN UP FOR ORIENTATION NOW!

Info Booth 1This is a great experience for new volunteers who not only will be updated on new October events, but will also interact with returning volunteers who in turn will share insights and information with those new to the program.

Volunteers are needed for:

  • Two hour shifts throughout the day each weekend in October
  • October 6 (Parade night)
  • October 10 (Columbus Day)
  • October 31 (Halloween Night)

We are also looking for multi-lingual volunteers to assist the many international visitors who come to Salem.

If you have availability some of these days, enjoy helping visitors by showing them your enthusiasm for our cultured and historic city, and want to make it fun and easy for visitors to explore all of Salem’s sites and attractions, please join us!

For more information or to become a volunteer please contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 x15 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org. This program is a partnership between Salem Main Streets, the National Park Service, the City of Salem, Destination Salem, and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

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